This is the latest mockup of GNOME Chat that came yesterday from Jakub -jimmac- Steiner. It is the conversation window and it looks pretty awesome!
Exactly 10 days ago, I wrote “What’s Up with GNOME Chat?” post which basically says that there aren’t any plans yet for release on 3.14. That still applies (AFAIK), but obviously GNOME designers aren’t creating mockups for fun or because they haven’t something better to do.
On Empathy camp there is also a lot of activity, and the two projects aren’t connected. It is more or a less a matter of personal preference for the users what they like, what they are going to use. Similar to whats happening with gNote, Bijiben & Tomboy.
A small difference thought is that Empathy actually works when gChat is only on the early steps of development (and not actively develop currently) and might never happens..